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Purchasing a home is both exciting and a major milestone in your life, so you’ll want to be prepared for what to expect to avoid a stressful process. Having an in-depth look at the buyer’s journey can help you make informed and confident decisions.
From finding a real estate agent, negotiating offers to getting your keys on closing day, we’ve outlined all the steps of a home buyer’s journey in our free Buyer’s Guide, which you can download here.
The Buyer’s Guide will cover the buyer’s timeline from meeting an agent to preparing for closing day. We’ve outlined the 8 steps in a home buyer’s journey below.
1. Working With An Agent
Every city is filled with thousands of agents, but not all are equal. We believe it is important to choose an agent that you feel confident with. Before you commit to working with an agent, make sure you have a good understanding of the knowledge and experience they offer. It’s important that you ask your questions before making the decision to work with them.
2. Financing Your Purchase
Before you set a budget and start looking for a home, you’ll have to understand what costs to expect when purchasing a home. Here are some of the major costs involved:
- Down payments
- Mortgage insurance
- Closing costs
You’ll also want to calculate a rough estimate of the down payment that you will be expected to pay. Depending on the price of your home, your minimum down payment can range from 5% to 20%. If you’re interested in learning more about how to finance your home, you can get our free Financing Your Purchase guide here.
3. Searching For A Home
An important part of searching for a home is understanding how the home will fit with your needs and your lifestyle. You’ll want to consider home ownership as well as different types of properties and features.
Types of Home Ownership
- Freehold Ownership
- You purchase the home and directly own the lot of land it sits on
- Condominium Ownership
- For condos, you own specific parts of one building: titled ownership of your unit, along with shared ownership in the condo corporation that owns the common spaces and amenities
- Co-Op Ownership
- You own an exact portion of the building as a whole and also have exclusive use of your unit
Types of Properties
- Detached houses
- Semi-detached houses
- Attached houses
- Condos and apartments
Tip: Depending on your budget and desired location, you may need to be flexible to find a home that meets your needs. By being willing to trade some features for others, you’ll have more options to choose from.
4. Negotiating An Offer
When you are making an offer to purchase a home, the purchase agreement should include the essential components listed below. Your agent can help put together an offer that is compelling, while safeguarding your interests and puts you in a competitive position to secure your new home.
You’ll also have the opportunity to choose the conditions that you’ll want in your offer. Some of these may include a home inspection or a status certificate review.
5. Financial Due Diligence
Whenever you make an offer on a house, you need to provide a deposit to secure the offer. The deposit is in the form of a certified cheque, bank draft, or wire transfer; it’s held in trust by the selling brokerage and is applied towards your down payment if your offer is successful.
There are two types of deposits:
- Upon acceptance
- The deposit is provided within 24 hours of the seller choosing your offer
- The deposit is provided when the offer is made
6. Property Due Diligence
To firm up a deal or educate yourself more on the state of the property, you’ll likely want to have a home inspection if you’re purchasing a house. If you’re purchasing a condo, then your lawyer will review the building’s status certificate.
A home inspector will assess elements of the home such as the walls, windows, plumbing, heating and roof to judge the condition of the home. This process is non-invasive and is essential to help provide buyers with a good idea of the home’s current condition and the confidence of putting in an offer.
Tip: The home inspector will provide a summary of suggested work along with a minimum budget estimate for the repairs needed.
If you’re purchasing a condominium, you’ll need to obtain a status certificate from the condo board or management for your lawyer’s review. This document will include valuable information about the condo’s budget, legal issues, reserve fund, maintenance fees and future fees increases – and the lawyer can help identify potential red flags
7. Preparing For Closing
Before the big day, you’ll want to keep a checklist of what to do ahead of time. Some of these include:
- Review your contract
- Complete a final walkthrough of the home
- Purchase home insurance
- Meet with your lawyer
- Know how much cash you’ll need
- Secure cash required for closing
8. Closing Day
Closing Day is when you’ll finally get the keys to your new home! In addition to bringing the cash required for closing, you’ll have to sign a few more documents which will include:
- Mortgage loan
- Title transfer
- Statement of adjustments
- Tax certificates
For the full details on the home buyer’s journey including examples, advice, pictures and sample calculations, download a copy of our free Buyer’s Guide here.
The post Home Buyer’s Guide: How to Purchase a Property, From Start to Finish [Free Download] appeared first on Zoocasa Blog.
Along with the excitement of purchasing a new home, comes the additional costs that you will be expected to pay as a homeowner. Apart from covering the mortgage of your home, you’ll have additional expenses – such as home insurance – that you will be expected to cover. If you’re looking to budget for a home purchase, it’s important that you consider these costs as they can add up to thousands of dollars each year.
To help you make educated decisions when budgeting, we’ve compiled a list of the major home ownership costs in one free, downloadable guide. Get the Home Ownership Costs to Consider guide here.
Home insurance policies help protect against serious damage and destruction, like fires, leaks, floods, or break-ins. It also protects a homeowner from personal liability. Some banks may offer home insurance products, although you can typically purchase a home insurance policy through a home insurance agent or broker.
Tip: You may get better rates if you use a broker or agent. It’s also important to keep in mind that policies typically renew on an annual basis.
The cost of maintenance fees should be taken into account when you’re buying a condo. This recurring cost is in addition to your mortgage and impacts how much home you can afford.
Your mandatory monthly fee will vary by your building and square footage. It typically covers:
- Utilities (such as water and garbage collection)
- Building insurance
- Maintenance of common areas (such as the gym, pool, front desk, hallways, landscaping)
- Building reserve fund (covers emergencies and long-term maintenance projects such as a new roof or elevators repairs)
What Are Status Certificates?
If you’re looking to purchase a condo, you’ll want to look into obtaining a status certificate so that you have as much information about the building and your unit as possible before buying. A status certificate provides valuable information about the condo corporation and its financial
situation. It includes details on the budget, legal issues, the reserve fund, maintenance fees, and any fee increases expected in the future.
Tip: You’ll want to carefully review your status certificate with your lawyer before making a purchase.
Property taxes are paid annually by homeowners to their municipality. These taxes are ongoing and are separate from your mortgage. Your annual property tax can often be paid in installments.
Tip: It’s important to remember that this cost is not due at closing, but is a recurring cost.
How Are Property Taxes Calculated?
Your property tax rate will vary depending on the value of your property as assessed by your provincial assessment authority. This is then multiplied by a rate that falls between 0.5% to 2.5%.
How Do You Pay Property Taxes?
You can pay your property taxes either through your mortgage provider or directly to your municipality.
Your Utility Bills
When you purchase a home, you’ll have to set up or transfer your utility bills to your new home. If you live in a condo, these costs may be included in your monthly maintenance fee. Your utility bill will include:
- Hydro (electricity)
- Water and Garbage
- Internet, Phone, Cable
For the full details on the home buyer’s journey including examples, advice, pictures and sample calculations, download a copy of our free Home Ownership Costs to Consider Guide here.
The post A Guide To Everything You Need To Know About Home Ownership Costs [Free Download] appeared first on Zoocasa Blog.